Taxi driver’s murderAnastasia Persaud, the niece of murdered Pegasus Hotel taxi driver Rubranauth Jeeboo, testified before Justice Brassington Reynolds as the Lorenzo Forde murder trial continued at the High Court in Georgetown.Persaud, who had to take a few moments to compose herself during her testimony, told the court that at the time of her uncle’s December 2013 killing, she resided with him and other relatives at their Lot 215 Delph Street, Campbellville, Georgetown home.Accused: Lorenzo FordeOn Wednesday, the witness confirmed that her uncle had 2 Toyota model yellow cars – a Carina and an Allion. She told the court that he used the Carina to drive to work around the time of his demise, and the Allion was parked in the Pegasus compound. The witness told the court that Jeeboo used both cars to ply his trade as a taxi driver. She also noted that his working hours were irregular and dependent on requests from the hotel and customers.Jeeboo’s niece further indicated that she and other family members would call her uncle via telephone every three hours.The jury heard that at about 08:15 hrs on December 27, 2013, while at home, she saw her uncle getting ready to leave the residence for work, wearing a light blue shirt jack, dark blue pants, a pair of black socks and black shoes. She also recalled that on December 28 at 03:45h, she was at home with her mother and other relatives when she called her uncle, but his phone was off.“I called the hotel and spoke to two of his colleagues, but got no positive response,” Persaud indicated. She told the court that after making further calls to his colleagues at the airport, she became anxious and worried.The witness said that between the pre-dawn and the early daylight hours, she and her mother checked various hospitals to see if the taxi driver was involved in an accident.“When I got home I saw three gentlemen, who introduced themselves as Police officers,” she noted.The court heard that she later accompanied the Policemen to the Lyken Funeral Home, where she identified her uncle’s body.In tears, Persaud also recalled seeing her uncle’s clothes torn, with blood on his shirt jack and one side shoe missing. The witness broke down, and was offered some moments to compose herself before continuing her testimony, when she later noted that she identified her uncle’s Allion motorcar, which contained black dust on it and the taxi service logo was torn off.Also testifying on Wednesday was Government Pathologist Dr Nehaul Singh.The Pegasus Hotel taxi driver was found in a heap of garbage at Caneview Avenue, South Ruimveldt, Georgetown. The accused, Lorenzo Forde, was just 18 when he was charged with the taxi driver’s murder. The Prosecution contends that between December 27 and 28, 2013, he murdered Jeeboo in the course or furtherance of a robbery.Forde is represented by attorneys Hewley Griffith and Rachael Bakker, while State counsels Lisa Cave, Shawnette Austin and Tiffini Lyken are presenting the prosecution’s case.
As part of its efforts to improve the standard of education across Guyana, the Eductaion Education took its townhall meeting to the hinterland community of Lethem in Region 9 (Upper Takatu/ Upper Essequibo) on Wednesday.According to the ministry, the ongoing town hall meetings are aimed at exploring fresh approaches in the quest to create a modern, participatory education system.The initiative is the brainchild of the Minister of Education Nicolette Henry. It’s aim is to foster a closer relationship between parents, the school, and the ministry.Addressing a packed auditorium of parents, guardians, teachers, and students at the St. Ignatius Secondary School, Chief Education Officer (CEO) Marcel Hutson told the gathering that Region Nine has potential. It is against this backdrop that parents and teachers must collaborate to harness the potential of students in the region, the CEO charged.Chief Education Officer Marcel Hutson with other education officials on Wednesday in LethemFurther, Hutson told those in attendance that the ministry is serious about closing the gap between the schools on the coast and those in the hinterland.“We must create a level playing field for all our children to have a good education and that is why we are here,” he is quoted by the Department of Public Information as saying.The chief educator announced that plans are in-train to address issues at the critical early childhood stage in Region Nine.Towards this end, the CEO announced that the establishment of a school for autistic children is on the cards to complement the diagnostic centre that has been built in the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE) compound.Hutson said that he is confident that similar services will be extended to Region Nine.The region was commended for their much-improved performance at the 2017 National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA).According to CEO Hutson, this improvement is due in large part to the approach that was taken by the MOE. He noted the acquisition of mathematics kits and the hiring of a number of mathematics inspectors who are tasked with ensuring that the content and methodology being taught at schools are in keeping with what is expected.National Coordinator of the Parent Teachers Association (PTA), Nadia Hollingsworth in her presentation told parents that it is imperative that they are integrally involved in their children’s education.The coordinator said many times schools are only visited by some parents when there is an issue. “You cannot only visit the school when there is an issue, but you have to visit to be apprised of how your child is performing.”
Fifty-year-old Rudolph Adams of Mocha, East Bank Demerara was on Wednesday driving motorcycle CH 3068 along the East Coast Demerara Public Road with 31-year-old Brian Murray of Haslington, ECD as his pillion rider.While at Golden Grove, a motor car driven by a 31-year-old man of Nabaclis reportedly collided with the motorcycle, causing it to crash into a parked vehicle.The impact sent Adams and Murray flying for some distance before sustaining a rough landing on the roadway.They were picked up and rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital, where they were admitted and are nursing their injuries. The car driver, however, has been taken into Police custody as they continue their investigations into the accident.
Telecommunications giant GTT, in collaboration with Pulse, has made the necessary provisions to put on a memorable show at this year’s Mashramani float parade competition.The annual parade, which twists and turns through the streets of Georgetown, is a celebration of Guyana’s Republic status and is usually graced by performancesTwo of the Trinidadian artistes flanked by GTT officials with Pulse CEO Robbie Singh (second right)from local Soca superstars.GTT and Pulse have raised the bar with the announcement of a star-studded line-up of Trinidadian artistes who are sure to electrify the massive crowds. Performers such as Blaxx, Olatunji, Chiney and Five Star Akil are all part of the cast.The feature performance will be delivered by Blaxx, who is most popular for his 2018 hit “Hulk”. The singer could hardly contain his excitement at being in Guyana, noting that he particularly enjoyed Guyanese cuisine. Performance wise, the artiste promised high energy and entertainment at the event.Blaxx later visited the Christ Church Secondary School’s culture day event where he gave the students a taste of what was in store for the Mashramani costume and float parade.The artistes will perform on GTT/Pulse’s “Amazon Gems” Mash band, entertaining revellers as they make their way from Thomas Lands to D’Urban Park before heading to Everest Cricket Club Ground for their after-party.
As the Juliet Griffith Day Care Centre celebrates its 24th anniversary, the Guyana Police Force (GPF) on Wednesday hosted a church service in celebration.In attendance were Police Commissioner Leslie James and Deputy Commissioner Maxine Graham.The Juliet Griffith Day Care Centre, also known as the “Police Day Care Centre”, is located at the Police Officers’ Mess, Eve Leary. The Day Care Centre caters for the children of Police Officers between the ages of one year six months and five years.The caregivers of the Day Care and members sang choruses while steelpan melodies filled the air. Reverend Donny Holder addressed the gathering and highlighted the great service the Day Care Centre has offered over the years. Additionally, Reverend Donny Holder commended the teachers and caregivers ofSome of the children at the Police Day Care Centre during the anniversary service on Wednesdaythe Police Day Care Centre for greatly caring for the children.The Centre also caters for children enrolled in another school, who in many cases, are dismissed too early for the officers’ families to take them home, hence they are often enrolled at the Police Day Care Centre to ensure that they are taken care of until it is convenient for the parents.The Juliet Griffith Day Care Centre was established on October 3, 1994. This Centre was named after the late Juliet Griffith, who was the wife of Senior Superintendent Joseph Griffith. The couple were both born and raised in West Berbice. Juliet Griffith is the founder of the Police Wives Association of Guyana which is the first organisation of its kind locally.
The University of Guyana’s unions are accusing the institution’s administration of bringing it to the brink of another crisis since it refuses to engage them on a number of issues that are pertinent to the work their members have been doing.The unions on Monday said they have been attempting to negotiate with the administration on a range of matters since February 2018, adding that the negotiations have gone nowhere. Additionally, the unions noted that they are deeply concerned about the state of the University’s finances, and about the administration’s violations of the University’s statutes and procedures.The unions explained that after they would have taken the issue to the Department of Labour in August of 2018 after negotiations with the administration, but the administration did not agree to the conciliation meeting that was scheduled for October 25, 2018. UG’s administration then informed the Department that the negotiations were not stalled resulting in the unions having to supply the written evidence to the Department of Labour regarding the lack of progress in the negotiations.The unions said they have observed that the administration was failing to provide the University Council with clear and straightforward information about the state of the University’s finances.“This perhaps explains their reluctance to engage in negotiations with the unions about matters which involve money, since they would have to reveal the University’s true financial situation. Moreover, the administration has been trying to prevent the Council from hearing about the ways in which it has been violating the University’s statutes and procedures, and in the process opening up the institution to claims of discrimination.”The University’s annual Business Meeting was held on Thursday, November 8 and the unions’ concerns were not allowed to be part of the agenda. The unions’ previous attempt to have Council discuss them at an extraordinary meeting on October 3 was thwarted when the Vice Chancellor left to deal with an ‘emergency’ and asked that they not be discussed in his absence,” the unions said in a joint statement.The unions said that they have been trying to place their matters before Council since July 2, 2018 and have been consistently denied.“These actions by the administration, therefore, amount to a complete refusal to engage with the workers of the University on matters that are important to them. It is clear that the administration has no regard whatsoever for the persons who keep the University running. The University unions have been very patient about this situation, but the time for patience is at an end,” the unions stated.
Commissioner of Police, Leslie James has warned against the practice of leaving derelicts along the roadways, noting that anyone found guilty of such practice will be dealt with severely.Dead: Reoul Drepaul SaulHe was at the time addressing ranks and officials attached to E Division (Linden- Kwakwani) at an Inspection and Promotion ceremony held in Linden on Friday. The Police Commissioner’s call also comes in light of a recent fatal accident which claimed the life of 20-year-old Reoul Drepaul Saul. Saul crashed into an old refrigerator, which was discarded on the public road at Number 59 Village, New Amsterdam, Berbice. His 18-year-old girlfriend also sustained injuries in the accident. Addressing E Division Traffic Inspector Shawn Massay, James urged that serious attention be placed along the Linden-Soesdyke highway to ensure that such practices do not occur. “Some accidents are occurring on the highway, as you know, as a result of vehicles that are parked. It is brought to my attention too, not necessarily in E Division, but we need to look at it. Persons are leaving derelict on roadways. As you would have seen, a few days ago a young man lost his life having struck some derelict left on the roadway…”, the Police Commissioner pointed out. He added that he has been informed that persons are deliberately placing items along the roadways.“…The report I’m getting is that people are deliberately leaving those things on the roadway and then in the homes somewhere they’re waiting to hear the ‘bang’… Anybody that is found guilty of such action will be dealt with severely. Anybody that we find doing such a thing will be dealt with severely. This is total foolishness”, James reiterated. James further asked that the Traffic Inspector organise with staff to conduct constant patrols along the highway. He noted that they must also ensure that vehicles which are left unattended are equipped with proper reflective materials. The Police Commissioner also pointed to a tendency of speeding along the highway. “Smooth, straight-road speeding is almost inevitable…so, I would like you to delegate to your staff so that they can patrol the highway properly,” he instructed.
Foreign Affairs Minister and Vice President Carl Greenidge is now acting in the capacity of Prime Minister (PM), since the current PM, Moses Nagamootoo, is acting within the capacity of President, with President David Granger in Cuba receiving treatment for his illness.Foreign Affairs Minister Carl GreenidgeGreenidge, who is also a Member of Parliament (MP), recently confirmed with a section of the media that he has United Kingdom (UK) citizenship, after leaving Guyana as a child.Following the no-confidence motion that was passed against the coalition, Government supporter Campton Reid filed legal proceedings challenging the validity of the vote of former Member of Parliament (MP) Charrandas Persaud, stating that he had falsely declared that he was a Guyanese citizen.Persaud, a Guyanese, is also a citizen of Canada.Reid is arguing, among other things, that Persaud, who has dual citizenship, acted in contravention of Article 155 (1) (a) of the Constitution of Guyana “…by virtue of his own act and acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience and adherence to a foreign power; to wit, the Sovereign State of Canada.”
WBD plane crash.Days after a Cessna 182 aircraft with registration number N8704T crashed at Canal Number Two Polder, West Bank Demerara, the pilot, Lincoln Gomez, who is recuperating from his injuries stated that he declared an emergency as the aircraft descended to 2000 feet.As the plane continued to descend, he noted that it was a full moon and the clouds covered the sky thus making visibility difficult.In a post on social media, the pilot recalled the horrific accident that occurred on the evening of February 18. He explained that on the day in question, plans were already made for him to fly to Paramakatoi from Ogle to take building materials for Monkey Mountain.Lincoln Gomez after he was discharged from the hospitalHe noted that as he was on his way to the Ogle Airport from Georgetown in a taxi, a member of the church received a telephone call from one of his colleagues instructing him to fly to Arau instead. At that time, he was told that he had to pick up a patient who was involved in an accident.“I made up my mind to fuel the aeroplane and fly to Arau instead of Paramakatoi. A few minutes later, we received the sad news that our fellow missionary from the US who was involved in the accident, died. I just could not believe the news. It was so shocking,” he added.He, however, decided to continue his journey to Paramakatoi after fuelling and loading the plane.“I landed there (Paramakaroi) after noon and spent some time there. Eighteen minutes after taking off from there I received news from the control tower that I should fly to Kaikan, pick up a policeman, and continue to Arau to pick up the corpse and fly it to Georgetown. So I diverted my flight and soared to 8500 to Mean Sea Level (MSL) to fly to Kaikan”.An injured Gomez upon arrival in the city after the accidentOn his way to Kaikan, he again received instructions to make another diversion to pick up someone to take to Kaikan.After following orders, he flew to Arau and about a minute after he landed, the corpse arrived at the airstrip.“I was told that Police would arrive “just now”. I waited for more than an hour, I guess, for the policemen to arrive. Finally, they arrived and one of them was to fly with me as an escort to accompany the corpse” Gomez stated.At that time, the pilot recalled, he told them it was late and that he would fly to Paruima and spend the night there but as he entered that aircraft, the corpse had already created a stench so he decided to fly to Georgetown. He thought that more delays would result in the corpse decaying.“I had already measured the fuel in the plane and had enough to fly to town according to the fuel burn measuring instrument and calculations.”They took off for Ogle but after some time, he requested from the control tower if he could fly Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) and after getting the confirmation, he agreed, not knowing the implications.In clarifying the Instrument Flight Rules (IFR), a source explained that after visibility becomes impossible, the pilot can request to switch to IFR where the plane is now navigated by instruments.Nevertheless, Gomez stated “at some point, I was asked to descend to 2000 from 7000ft MSL. So I descended. I looked at the fuel indicator from time to time as usual and it was getting lower but I trusted that I had enough knowing how much the indicator usually indicates fuel burn”.He noted that they had already crossed the Essequibo River when the engine began to idle. He recalled that the place was dark and he attempted to troubleshoot an engine failure.He attempted to troubleshoot an engine failure but nothing worked hence, he immediately declared an emergency. During this time, he recalled the policeman who was later identified as Mark Grimmond panicked.“I did not want to be distracted by him. As I was busy reporting our position… the aeroplane touched the trees and I lost consciousness”.When he regained consciousness, he was outside of the plane. He was pulled from the wreckage by the policeman who also made sure that other items from the aircraft were taken out along with the corpse from Arau.“All I could have done was to maintain glide speed until touchdown,” the pilot added while noting that Grimmond was able to make calls using his mobile phone and handle the flares.After some time, he related, an aeroplane and a helicopter flew over the location. “They were able to spot us with the help of flares and other means.About four hours after we went down, the soldiers rescued us by land and we were able to walk slowly through the jungle for about an hour to the helicopter. Afterwards, we were flown to Army base and then driven to the hospital”, he recalled.
A man who was arrested and charged for the rape of a 14-year-old female from Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) will no longer be facing the brunt of the law after the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) allegedly advised law enforcement officials to take no further action in the matter.Director of Public Prosecutions Shalimar HackA senior police source told Guyana Times on Thursday that the teenager along with her mother visited the DPP Chambers sometime last week and indicated that they no longer wished to proceed with the matter.According to the source, based on whatever discussion the mother and the 14-year-old had with the DPP, ranks in E Division (Linden-Kwakwani) were notified that the legal advice obtained from the State Counsel was not to proceed with the matter.It was reported that two weeks ago, as officers in that Division were preparing a wanted bulletin to be released to the media with names of suspects for rape cases, the alleged rapist’s name had been on that list.Hours before the list was forwarded to the police, someone notified the suspect and he immediately visited one of the police stations in Region 10.As such, he was arrested and charged for the offence of rape. However, on August 9, 2019, the correspondence from the DPP was sent to the police about the visit from the complainant and her mother and the advice to halt any further action.A police source explained that in addition to the man being accused of raping the 14-year-old, there were three other men who were also alleged to have raped her.When contacted on Thursday to confirm the details of the case, Commander of E Division (Linden-Kwakwani), Senior Superintendent Linden Lord stated that the police officers in his Division executed their investigations into the matter and completed the necessary steps that had to be taken when handling a child rape case.However, although the Commander did not divulge the details about the matter, he reminded that whenever the police send files to the DPP for legal advice, the police have to use that advice for guidance and follow through.